Zeng Yixin China city Beijing virus covid-19 Health Zeng Yixin China city Beijing

China rejects WHO's terms for further study of COVID-19 origins

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BEIJING - China cannot accept the World Health Organization's plan for the second phase of a study into the origins of COVID-19, a senior Chinese health official said Thursday.Zeng Yixin, the vice minister of the National Health Commission, said he was "rather taken aback" that the plan includes further investigation of the theory that the virus might have leaked from a Chinese lab.He dismissed the lab leak idea as a rumor that runs counter to common sense and science."It is impossible for us to accept such an origin-tracing plan," he said at a news conference called to address the COVID-19 origins issue.The search for where the virus came from has become a diplomatic issue that has fueled China's deteriorating relations with the U.S.

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